A Review Of Jennifer Lahl, “Eggsploitation” (DVD) The Center For Bioethics And Culture, 2013. -- By: David Schrock

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 19:1 (Spring 2014)
Article: A Review Of Jennifer Lahl, “Eggsploitation” (DVD) The Center For Bioethics And Culture, 2013.
Author: David Schrock

A Review Of Jennifer Lahl, “Eggsploitation” (DVD) The Center For Bioethics And Culture, 2013.

David Schrock

Associate Editor
Journal for Biblical Manhood & Womanhood Senior Pastor
Calvary Baptist Church Seymour, Indiana

Over the last few years, The Center for Bioethics and Culture (CBC) has released a trio of vitally important documentary videos addressing egg donation, surrogate pregnancy, and sperm donation. Eggsploitation was the first of those videos. It won the Best Documentary award at the 2011 California Independent Film Festival, and it is a video that Christians should watch in order to know about the risks involved in egg donation.


Jennifer Lahl, President of the CBC, begins the documentary with these stark words:

Young women around the world are solicited by a largely unregulated global, multi-billion dollar industry to help people have babies. What is this industry after? Their fertility. Their good genes. Their eggs.

In the forty-minute video, Lahl narrates the history of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and the way it has negatively impacted many women. In the video, the process of egg donation is explained with the successive steps of stopping the woman’s natural cycle, restarting her cycle to synchronize with the recipient’s cycle, super-ovulating the ovaries (such that a woman might produce anywhere between thirty and sixty eggs in one cycle, instead of one or two), releasing the eggs by means of a hormonal injection, and extracting the eggs by means of a surgical procedure with general anesthesia.

Throughout this information, viewers are given a variety of statistics. For instance, the first “test tube baby,” Louise Brown, was born on July 25, 1978. The IVF industry took off in the 1980s and by 2010, 100,000 IVF cycles were performed with non-donors. Since less than twenty percent result in the birth of a baby, donors (like the women interviewed by Lahl) are solicited, because donor eggs improve the odds a child will result. They accounted for 17,000 cycles in 2010.

Of these collected eggs, many of them fail to be fertilized. These numbers show the number of women affected, but it is the dollar figures that show how powerful this medical industry is. Each year, the industry in the United States alone makes over 6.5 billion dollars.

Lahl stresses that this economic consideration is one of the two greatest ethical concerns about the practice of donating eggs. By treating eggs as dollar figures, women are commodified. They are being exploited by means of financial inducement to risk their health, fertility, and even their lives. Advertised as a...

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